- Hans Weber
- December 1, 2023
Czech Republic moves towards ‘marriage for all’, but the “crucial debate will be on adoption”
The national parliament of the Czech Republic has asked the Committee on Family to study the possibility of redefining marriage to include same-sex unions.
After voting yes in the first reading of the project (of three), the house in Malá Strana (Prague) opens a 4-month dialogue about the Marriage Redefinition Act.
Homosexual couples in the Czech Republic can enter civil unions, but are not entitled to the creation of joint property or to a widow’s or widower’s pension, according to CNE News.
“The Parliament is divided on this matter and it is not at all certain what wording the law will eventually be approved in, or if it will be approved at all”, says Tomáš Coufal, the editor in chief of Život víry (Life of Faith), the largest evangelical magazine in the country.
It is “likely” that the rights of homosexual partners will be equated with marriage, but there is a “fierce fighting among politicians” about whether these unions should be called ‘marriage’, he told Evangelical Focus.
Parliament also seeks to strengthen heterosexual marriage
In fact, the same day the debate on the same-sex marriage law was admitted to debate (with 68 to 58 votes), a proposal to amend the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms to the effect that marriage is exclusively a union between a man and a woman was also approved at first reading (with an even larger support, 86-37 votes).
“What is crucial and what the whole vote will probably break down on”, explains Coufal, “is the issue of adoption of children”. And on that point, “I dare not yet predict which direction the debate will take”.
Despite “the loud jubilation of pro-LGBT organisations”, continues the journalist, now is only the beginning of a legislative process in which there are still many questions in the air. What seems clear, however, is that “the Czech media in general strongly supports the liberal side of the debate”.
Evangelicals and the social debate
The position of most Bible-believing Christians on the issue of marriage is similar to that in other European countries. “I am persuaded that most of Czech evangelicals defend the classical concept of the family as presented in the Bible”, says Coufal. “However, as a marginal minority in the nation, evangelical Christian are not much involved in the public debate and rather quietly support the predominantly Catholic activists who are more involved in this matter”.
The synod of the largest mainline Evangelical Protestant church, however, just approved the possibility of blessing same-sex couples, a move that “adds to the colour of events”. Coufal concludes that, “unfortunately, some representatives of this church are speaking out in the media in favour of ‘marriage for all’ and distancing themselves from the critics of the redefinition of marriage”.